Most companies find it expensive and challenging to operate warehouses. The cost of the building, machinery, land, labour, and managing the inventory can be astronomical. It is the reason why most companies would like to understand how to maximize warehouse space. Essentially, they want more for less!
If you think having a large warehouse is always a good business practice, think again. A large warehouse means that a business will want to store a large number of products. In the end, this may be too expensive.
Additionally, it may lead to a waste of resources. Since there is a lot of space, it’s less likely you’ll worry about the ways to improve warehouse space utilization. Consequently, it can only cause unnecessarily long travel times between locations, additional fuel and labour costs. Also, it can lead to delays in loading or unloading trailers.
Whereas, having a smaller warehouse can make you think of creative ways on how to maximize warehouse space. When you learn to improve your warehouse space utilization, it can also result in improved efficiency. This efficiency may be in the form of short travel times, faster loading and unloading speeds etc.
These tips to optimize warehouse space are the result of years of experience. With these tips, you can improve your warehouse’s efficiency while decreasing operating costs.
First, know the storage profile of your warehouse in terms of capacity and utilization. You must thoroughly understand the flow and utilization of the current layout of your warehouse.
Typically, this includes rack configuration, replenishment, inventory management, the receiving, packing and shipping of items. Apart from that, it’s crucial to include seasonal peak trends. Also, analyze the inbound and outbound product flow volume.
Check to ensure you’re using all the available vertical space. You can investigate the storage media to understand your clear span height. It would be good to note how much cubic feet of vertical space remains unused.
When making the most of vertical space in your warehouse, remember the safety aspect. That’s an important part of how to maximize your warehouse space. Always make sure you know how your design impacts your sprinkler design and fire code.
Identify functions that do not need high ceilings in areas where precise height needs dictate lower stacking heights. We often see some warehouses with unused overhead space.
Repurpose warehouse functions to make sure you use the most of every available space. For instance, documentation and tracking work doesn’t necessarily need a high ceiling. This space can be useful for packing and inventory management.
If you have several locations for storing the same item, you may as well consider combining them. When you consolidate and merge these locations, you can create better warehouse space utilization.
You can do this during the putaway process or as a standalone function. Combining your sites can be a good step on how to maximize warehouse space.
Make sure to match the size of the item to the right-sized picking slot. By doing so, you can maximize the utilization of the picking slot cube.
It will help if you have a variety of sizes of picking slots to facilitate this process. The same logic applies to locations where you store, reserve or overstock.
If you store a large quantity of excess inventory for a few items, consider using offsite storage for the excess. This tip for warehouse space utilization frees up space for fulfillment and associated operations.
If you store and ship large items, consider using some form of drop shipping. This option can reduce your in-house inventory, including the cost of managing it.
Aside from reviewing the effective use of the height of locations, understand the depth of storage. You can consider using double-depth racking to maximize your warehouse space.
If you’re most likely to store supplies or packing materials, manage the inventory. Organizing and managing your inventory helps you avoid overstocks. Ask if your corrugated supplier can keep some inventory at its site for you. You can also ask them to take delivery every few days.
Maximizing warehouse space utilization will make sure your inventory is easily accessible. Some warehouses with limited space just place items on a shelf, which they believe is one of the ways on how to maximize warehouse space.
But in reality, it can be detrimental because some items are harder to find if larger items are in front. Consequently, it can slow down the picking and the delivery of items to the customer and more.
So you see, effective warehousing solutions are about the use of space. However, it’s also about the arrangement and positioning of items.
Is warehouse management an issue for your business? Why not consider third-party warehousing services in Toronto. Here at Roadlinx, we offer flexible solutions to warehousing problems. Contact us via 905-760-1141 today!
Sign up for industry alerts, insights & news from RoadLINX